The New York Times rings up “two hours of inexplicable madness” with a report on the Niagara Falls judge who heard a cellphone ring in his courtroom. When no one fessed up, he played the “Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go” card.
Danny Hakim writes (excerpt):
On the morning of March 11, 2005, the judge, Robert M. Restaino, was presiding over a slate of domestic-violence cases when he heard a phone ring. According to the commission’s report, he told the roughly 70 people in the courtroom that “every single person is going to jail in this courtroom” unless the phone was turned over.
“This troubles me more than any of you people can understand,” Judge Restaino said, adding: “This person, whoever he or she may be, doesn’t have a whole lot of concern. Let’s see how much concern they have when they are sitting in the back there with all the rest of you. Ultimately, when you go back there to be booked, you’ve got to surrender what you got on you. One way or another, we’re going to get our hands on something.”